WhatsApp – A risk or not?

WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion users. This Facebook-owned encrypted messaging servicehas end-to-endencryption as an important security feature.

This encourages people to use it for text, audio and video messaging around the world. According to New York (CNN Business) – WhatsApp has revealed a vulnerability in its system that might have allowed hackers access to its user’s phones.

An expert told CNN Business that hackers could implant malicious code on the phone by a simple voice call on WhatsApp. The person doesn’t even have to answer the call to be affected. A WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement – ‘’The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems.”

The encrypted messaging services – WhatsApp, did not mention the company. Asource accustomed with the enquiry into the attack said that the companyis NSO Group – an Israeli cyber company. They developed a powerful piece of malware designed to spy on its victims. However, NSO said, “Under no circumstances would NSO be involved in the operating or identifying of targets of its technology, which is solely operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies.” – in a statement to CNN.

Protect your Device to stay safe

Popular WhatsApp messenger has been hacked. The updatedversion has been released. Protect your device by updating your WhatsApp. This has been going on in newspapers, social networking sites, on television and the internet for some time. Following the discovery of a security bug that allowed hackers to remotely install spyware on users’ smartphones, WhatsApp is urging 1.5 billion users to update their app.

It was revealed that some WhatsApp users had their phone’s microphones and cameras accessed by Israeli hackers. A flaw in the instant messaging app has allowed hackers to surreptitiously install software on both iPhone and Android smartphones. Also, accessing the camera and microphone. The software allows hackers to trawl through emails on the phone as well.

WhatsApp has said that the company ‘’encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices”. Ready to update yourWhatsApp to be on the safe side? Check outthebelowonhow you can do it on your iOS and Android smartphones.

iOS – iPhone

  • Open your App Store – click on updates on the bottom right hand corner
  • Scroll though the list
  • Select ‘’WhatsApp and Update.

Android

  • Open Play Store
  • Tap on the 3 lines in the upper left corner
  • From the menu, select “My apps & games”
  • Select ’WhatsApp and Update

You must be thinking about the other apps that you use, are they also at risk? Is there any guarantee that your details (messages, pictures, calls) will not be hackedtoo? What about the games you play online? Are they at risk too? Well, this is hard to say. Normally WhatsApp was a trusted and fully secured company that has the end-to-end encryption as an important security feature. Still,hackers found their way to get access.

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How did that happen?

The malicious software was installed by phoning the recipient using WhatsApp’s call function. Even if the call was unanswered, the software was still got installed and hackers could even delete the call from the phone’s log. WhatsApp said ‘’ We believe a select number of users were targeted through this vulnerability by an advanced cyber actor”.

Who is being targeted? Am I on the list?

Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp has not confirmed how many user accounts have been affected by the hack. However,there havebeen only a few targets so far. The Guardian said ‘’UK-based human rights lawyer and an Amnesty International researcher, have been identified”.

You are probably safe if you have not received a WhatsApp voice call from an unknown number or even a call that has been dropped. At this point, there is no way to identify whether your account has been hacked or not.

The attack appears to have targeted those who work in industries that handle sensitive information such as lawyers and journalists. If you, therefore, use WhatsApp for work purposes, you need to be on your guard and more vigilant.

The latestcversion of WhatsApp

WhatsApp has listed the most recent version on its website to make sure users are up to date and less at risk. On Android, the latest version is 2.19.134 and for iPhone,the latest version is 2.19.51.

WhatsApp Users,make sure to update your WhatsApp to stay protected and away from spyware. Be careful and use the app wisely. Report anything  you perceive assuspicious. Be vigilant and on your guard until the matter is fixed.

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